Parish of Leatherhead - Key Events & News 2014

updated 5 Feb 2015

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Application Form to join the Parish Electoral Roll

Church Matters for December 2014

News from the Belfry

Extracts from the Great War Parish Magazines

Thank you! - from the December 2014 magazine

We wish to thank Gina and all the choir for performing David Oliver's anthem, which we commissioned from him in 2008. It set the seal on a wonderful day (26th October), when we celebrated our Ruby Wedding Anniversary in Church, surrounded by family and friends. The day was made extra special with Kuhan's marriage blessing at the end of the service. We also wish to say thank you for the anniversary cards we received and the delicious cakes made for the occasion by Alex Hurley.

Roger and Janette Lynch

Leatherhead Community Market news - from the December 2014 magazine

2014 has been a year of gradual change for the market with the retirement and loss of several of the long-term cooks, bakers, stall holders and coffee team. In April Pat Weetman retired as Market Controller and I took on this role. The market was struggling as the number of producers and helpers was declining with no light at the end of the tunnel. None of the existing marketeers felt able to take on the role of reviving the market.

With many years of recruiting volunteers for various organizations and events and of co-ordinating several successful activities such as the Children's Church, Parent and Toddler Group, the Autumn Fayre, and the Sewing Shop there was scope for finding new people to come on board and using new ideas to take this forward. The independent Community Market is traditionally run along the lines of the former WI Country Markets so is somewhat resistant to change. However change is vital if this market is to be viable in the future. It is a facility much appreciated by the customers who like to buy home-made produce, those who enjoy company over a cup of coffee, and as a service to the community. As a producer it can make you some "pocket-money" and help you lose weight - while using your Bake Off skills - as you don't have to eat all the cakes you bake!

So what have we achieved in the last six months?

There are around 30 new members, some who bake weekly, some monthly, lots of new helpers on the stalls yet mainly faces familiar to the market. You will not notice much change on the Meat and Egg stalls. The Garden stall has benefited from having new producers of fruit, vegetables and plants. The Cake stall can still supply the popular Victoria sandwich together with new lines like Rocky road traybakes. The Pastry stall can still supply quiches, cottage pies, and pasta bakes, and has some delicious new scones in fancy flavours such as Stilton and watercress. But this stall could do with some new producers of savoury ready-meals and puddings. The Craft stall has cards to suit every taste (even made-to-order for a special occasion) and a new line in decorated candles. Christmas is a good time to visit this stall. The Preserves counter has marmalade, jams, and chutneys, but new producers are needed too. The Haberdashery stall can still supply all the regular sewing requirements and some fancy items too for all you Sewing Bee enthusiasts, with as much free advice as you need.

So what help do we need to take this forward in to 2015?

The meat stall is popular but for financial reasons we do need to sell out. Any surplus can't realistically go back to Conisbees so please support this stall.
From January we need a new person to set out the 20 tables and chairs in the hall - before we arrive (it is currently done at 7.15am on Friday morning) - the remuneration is £4 per week - if you could volunteer I'd love to hear from you.
Most of all - do come along as a customer and please tell your friends.
On a practical note we do need to sell our produce to pay for the hall and the insurance.
We are here to serve the community so we'd love to hear your suggestions. What items would you like to buy if we could provide them and, quite importantly, what are your favourite biscuits to have with your coffee?

Please get in touchwith the Market Controller on L374914 or staggcjpj AT

Pitstop - Forever Home Appeal - from ther December 2014 magazine

After many months without a permanent home, local charity Pitstop, a day centre providing support to the homeless, unemployed and socially isolated, have launched an urgent appeal to acquire, refit and refurbish a property in Leatherhead. They need to raise £70,000 in six weeks. Please see relaunched website at call 01372 363003 or email for more details or to make a donation.

Allsaints Social Enterprise - from the December 2104 magazine

After ten months hard work, we are delighted to announce that Allsaints opened its doors to the public on October 25th. Allsaints is a Speciality Coffee Shop and Sandwich Company that serves the very best coffee, the very best sandwiches and offers the very best support and training for local young people. As a social enterprise, Allsaints provides employment and accredited training to local young people through the government apprenticeship scheme. Allsaints is based in Leatherhead North, run from the BFree Youth Cafe in All Saints Church. It is open to members of the public from 8am-3pm six days a week and continues to be open to young people after school and in the evenings.

LYP has been running successful youth projects in Leatherhead North, one of the most disadvantaged communities in Surrey, for the last 10 years. Two out of three young people who live in Leatherhead North leave secondary school without 5 GCSEs including Maths and English. Leatherhead also has one of the largest business communities in Surrey with companies such as Exxon Mobile, Unilever, CGI, KBR and Menzies. Allsaints will continue to harness this relationship between business and community by offering young people the chance to succeed in the business and work environment.

Please pop down to support Allsaints and the young people, and sample the coffee and the tasty cakes!

Poppy Appeal - from the December 2104 magazine

On behalf of Derrick and myself many thanks for the wonderful support we received during Poppy time. For those who braved the cold and rain collecting on the Saturday the Town collection was £888.04 I hope some of you were able to get to the Tower to see the Poppy River.

Remembrance Sunday was just so special. The Services at Church and the War Memorial were very moving, and it was a joy to see so many people at both Services. The weather - well it was more like Spring than Autumn: just perfect.

Jane Summerfield

Church Matters for November 2014

News from the Belfry

Extracts from the Great War Parish Magazines

Report on a Cathedral Links meeting Tuesday 7 October 2014 - from the November 2104 magazine

At this meeting we were informed that the £1.3m for the necessary works to remove the acoustic plaster from the cathedral ceiling vaults has been raised and this will enable the cathedral to apply for a £4.5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

They will know by February whether this has been accepted. Further funds are needed to refurbish and clean the organ and this amount is expected to be in the region of £800,000! Fund raising events are in place to begin this appeal.

As a matter of some interest, when Sir Edward Maufe, the architect, designed the building he did not plan for an organ to be installed, assuming that by its completion, there would be some "other" form of music! Now the adapted organ needs a rebuild and a new case.
Dee Lawrence

The Founding of the Parish Church Choir in 1861 - from the November 2104 magazine

The November 1914 Parish Magazine has a tribute to Mr Fitzherbert Hailstone, who died aged 74 on 21st Oct 1914. It states that "he was one of the original members of the Parish Church Choir formed by Miss Chapman during her father's incumbency in 1861." Benjamin Chapman's incumbency began in 1836. He was preceded by James Barker and was followed by Thomas Thompson Griffith 1871.

Only a few years, then, to wait for the 160th Anniversary of our Choir ...
Frank Haslam, Parish Archivist

St Mary & St Nicholas "Housekeeping Costs" - from the October 2014 Parish Magazine

You may have heard more about "New Fire" in recent months, as this ecumenical (all churches together) evening service has been proactively mentioned in the 10.30 morning service on the fourth Sunday of each month - to remind and invite you to come along to , Leatherhead Methodist Church at 6.30pm that evening.

For many years our giving has not covered our housekeeping costs and we have relied on the fact that we held sufficient unrestricted funds to offset that shortfall. Unrestricted funds are very low indeed and there will be an overspend of about £25,000 this year. If every member on our electoral roll and all worshippers gave an additional £100 now then our shortfall will be covered. Will you?

Martin Cole, Resources Convenor

Church Matters for October 2014

Have You Caught "New Fire"? - from the September 2014 Parish Magazine

You may have heard more about "New Fire" in recent months, as this ecumenical (all churches together) evening service has been proactively mentioned in the 10.30 morning service on the fourth Sunday of each month - to remind and invite you to come along to , Leatherhead Methodist Church at 6.30pm that evening. Yes, the fourth Sunday each month (except August).

The result if you do come along, to join the growing number of regulars? You will, is the intention, be blessed by the friendly fellowship to be had there, in a relatively informal environment.

You will encounter worship (music and song) provided by a band very ably led by our musically-talented Youth Worker, Jay Bristow. There may be drums. There may be guitars. But that doesn't necessarily equate to loud and raucous music. You are as likely to hear a well-loved hymn brought up to date, as you are to enjoy something completely contemporary.

In recent months - and the plan is for this well received feature to continue - you will have heard life/faith-stories ("testimonies") from a number of people, not least - from the Parish Church - Kuhan, Chris Stagg, and Ricardo. September 28th "New Fire" is expected to feature another, as we already have some inspiring testimonies lined up for coming months, including much anticipated ones from Graham and from John Russell, the husband of Lynda the Minister of Leatherhead Methodist Church and Christ Church.

So. On the fourth Sunday every month. At 6.30pm, for about an hour, followed by refreshments. Held at Leatherhead Methodist Church (around the corner from the Parish Church). No rsvp necessary - you are warmly invited to come along. With the September "New Fire" on the 28th.

Graham, Kuhan, or Chris Stagg will always be pleased to provide any more information, if/when desired. Or simply put the dates and times into your diary and come along. And be blessed.

Chris Stagg

Church Matters for September 2014

Church Matters for August 2014

from the 24 Aug weekly news sheet - FIRE DAMAGE

On Friday 8 August 2014 a fire in the vestment cupboard in the lower vestry was discovered and extinguished by the Revd Kuhan. No one was injured but the verger's robe was damaged beyond use or repair. It appears that this fire may have been started deliberately. It could have been much more serious than it was. The police, fire service and our insurers have all been informed. A police Scenes of Crime Officer and our local PCSO have visited the church and the damaged robe taken away for forensic examination. An appropriate Fire Services Officer will visit the church to advise us on actions to be taken.

On Sunday 10 August 2014 a bundle of linen, altar linen, white vestments and small white cloths used in the Communion service was found screwed up in the corner of the vestment cupboard in the lower vestry. It is not known who did this. You are all asked to be vigilant and careful in our use of candles and matches etc and to monitor the activities of strangers and others in our church. Anew lock has been fitted to the vestry door. It is intended that the church will continue to be open as now.

Church Matters for July 2014

New Social Enterprise Launched

100 people attended an evening event hosted by Leatherhead Youth Project (LYP) on Thursday 15 June to announce the launch by LYP of Allsaints, a new social enterprise to benefit local young people.

The new venture, a coffee shop and sandwich company which will provide work and qualifications for unemployed local young people, is described by Leatherhead Youth Project as the "missing link" in the work that they do with local young people.

Christian Guy, Director of the Centre of Social Justice, a prominent Think-Tank, delivered the keynote speech describing the poverty relief work his organization supports and the impact communities can have when they work together to help those in need.

The event also featured Sian Sangarde-Brown and Laura Thurlow. Sian is the author of the report "Surrey Uncovered" which reveals statistics of hidden deprivation across the county and she particularly highlighted the needs in Leatherhead North. Laura is from the Community Foundation for Surrey, which supports grassroots community organisations across the county with funding grants and has been a huge supporter of the work of Leatherhead Youth Project for the past six years.

Allsaints was formally launched with a new promotional video made by Leatherhead Business of the Year, Liquid Productions, in which LYP Community Projects Manager, Andy Gill, announced that the coffee shop will open its doors to the public in September. In the meantime LYP are seeking to raise £30,000 in the next 60 days (finishing on July 14th), from within the local community. They have created an online fundraising page on website indiegogo to allow donations from individuals.

David Gillott (Allsaints Food Consultant and founder of Four Gables Food Group) said "We are delighted to have this opportunity to work alongside LYP in launching Allsaints: our expertise in the food industry will ensure that Allsaints sandwiches are of the highest Quality."

The event was supported by Leatherhead & District Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by ExxonMobil, whose Community Affairs Adviser, Sophie Foale, said "We are delighted to be supporting LYP in a pioneering venture that will really help create change in the lives of local young people who have limited opportunities."

The Diocesan Certificate in Children's Work and Ministry - from the July 2014 magazine

My training began back in October of last year. It commenced with a morning session followed by three evenings where we were resourcefully equipped for our vocation of working with children. As well as the resources we shared our experiences and networked our skills.

In January I led a session for Children's Church (previously known as Sunday Club) on Joseph and his Many Coloured Coat whilst being observed by one of the trainers, Katherine Tuck. The feedback I received was very positive - highlighted were my dramatic and storytelling skills engaging the children present. I also had to carry out a child study on one of the children in Children's Church. Again I was complimented on the structure and content of it.

Then in May alongside Chris, Janine, Linda, Sheila, and Danni I went to Creating Sparks, for those involved or interested in work with or supporting children's ministry. It was an excellent day with much for thought and inspiration. There we were presented with our certificates. On Sunday 18 May my certificate was re-presented to me by the Rector, Graham.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the learning and want to thank all who supported and encouraged me throughout my studies.
Juliet Campbell

Church Matters for June 2014

A Date for Your Diary - from the June 2014 magazine

The Welsh are coming AGAIN!

Please keep Saturday 15th November 2014 free as they will be giving their usual mix of Welsh music and songs at 3.30pm in the Parish Church. Tickets are £17 (£12 concessions) and we shall, as before, be providing them with a meal before they leave, for which,there will be a small extra charge - an opportunity to hear yet more of their lovely voices.We look forward to seeing you there.
Frances Presley

Pat Weetman and the Market - from the June 2014 magazine

First it was the W.I. Market, then it became the Leatherhead Country Market. People cook food in their own  homes, and sell it for a modest profit.  The customers are as loyal as the  cooks and those who sell the produce:  the same people gather every Friday  in the Parish Church Hall.

It's good for those who enjoy cooking, but they do have to spend time every Thursday cooking the stuff, bring it in early, and then come back later to take back what hasn't sold. The real stars of the piece are the helpers, who come in early to set up the tables, clear up afterwards, and then watch their friends chatting whilethey have to stand behind the stalls!

For the customers it is all good news: catch up on the week with old friends: what's going on, who's missing and why, and the opportunity to buy lovely home-made food, jams, eggs, plants and crafts. Conisbee the butcher sends meat, and there's a haberdashery stall - filling a large gap in Leatherhead.

For the last fifteen years all this has been presided over by Pat Weetman, first as Chair of Fetcham W.I., then as chief of the independent country market. Under her aegis standards have been kept every bit as high as before, and she has kept a very firm hold on everything. Her chief welcomer, bouncer and bottle-washer has been her husband Eric, ever watchful and ever protective. Side issues in their lives like cancer and heart troubles have not been allowed to get in the way, in a manner which has inspired all and sundry.

Fortunately, Pat is continuing to cook: cakes, chicken pies, cottage pies, fruit tarts, and in due season, wonderful Christmas cakes!

On Pat's retirement it seemed as if the whole organisation would crumble: helpers who had served for many years decided it was time to go as well. Janine Stagg has stepped in to take on the role of Market Controller with a willing band of helpers drawn from both the Church and the Community. With such an act to follow, she is a brave lady, who deserves all our support.
Alison Wright

Diocesan Library - Digital Re-Boot - from the June 2014 magazine

On Thursday 5th June this year why not come along to the relaunch of our diocesan library, and enjoy a glass of wine whilst you pick up your new membership card. Evensong begins at 5.30pm, and following this until 8pm the library is open to visitors. The entire 4,000 volumes in the library have been electronically catalogued thanks to the efforts of two volunteers from the Cathedral congregation.

Now you can search the catalogue from your home computer and check the availability of a book before you travel in to the library. Go to and follow the "Online Catalogue" link.

This hidden gem is housed in Guildford Cathedral and open whenever the Cathedral is - it is a free resource for all parishioners in the diocese. For many years it has been a place for study and reflection where generations of students, studying on the Local Ministry Programme, have rushed to complete assignments under a looming deadline! But whether you are training for ministry or just want to browse, explore and increase your knowledge, come in to enjoy the free Wi-Fi connection and a peaceful study space.The library membership card also provides access to the Diocesan Resource Centre, the companion collection to the library, housed in the Education Centre on Stag Hill. It is there to resource parish ministry and worship for children, young people and adults; and to help schools enhance their RE and collective worship. It also houses a growing collection of Discipleship and Christian nurture courses. Membership cards can be obtained from the Resource Centre during office hours, if you can't visit the launch evening.
Louise Redfern

Carers Support Mole Valley

Who we are and what we do: in Surrey there are around 108,000 Carers. They are made up of family, friends, and neighbours, and provide the bulk of unpaid community care to those with a disability or long term illness. Carers save Surrey's economy £1.59 billion each year!

Caring for someone else - in an unpaid capacity - is a multifaceted role, one that is physical, mental and emotional. The demands placed on Carers are different from normal family responsibilities. Research has shown that caring can have an adverse effect on the Carer's health and Carers are more prone to depression and stress related illness. Carers are not Care Workers; they cannot clock off in the evening and relax at home, they don't get sick pay or holiday entitlement, and there's no hope of a raise or promotion.

Carer Support Mole Valley (CSMV) is a charity: our three Carer Support Workers offer a free, confidential and independent service including information and advice (such as about Benefits), support for individual Carers, a listening ear, advocacy, training and workshops for Carers.We also organise outings and monthly coffee mornings so that Carers get a break from their caring responsibilities, and they get an opportunity to meet other Carers so that they don't feel so isolated.

How to get help and support: if you are a Carer and need help you can call us on 01306 640212, or send us an email: . And you can find us in The Mayflower Centre, Lyons Court, High Street, Dorking, RH4 1AB.

Registering yourself as a Carer with your GP is also important so that he/she can give you the support and help you need. GPs can tell you about services that could improve your life as a Carer, and your value as a Carer will be recognised by the NHS.More about Carers Support Mole Valley: we are one of ten schemes across Surrey and are funded by Surrey County Council and Surrey NHS. You can read more about our support, services and our Newsletter on our website 

Sisters get Together - from the June 2014 magazine

Many thanks to Sally et al for organising the first meeting of Sisters get Together. It was so nice to see so many "Sisters" meeting together from the different churches in Leatherhead, although I think the Parish Church was in the majority!

The breakfast and coffee were superb as was the welcome. Judging by the laughter and chatter from different groups it was clear everyone was enjoying themselves.The next meeting is on Saturday morning July 12th, when Jenny Moore from B@titude will talk about the worthwhile work they do. Looking forward to it! See you at Bfree (All Saints) on 12th July!
Linda Shepherd

Wholly Beaders 2014 programme

News from Leatherhead Trinity School

Church Matters for May 2014

Church Matters for April 2014

Sisters get Together – Saturday 26 April 2014 - from the April 2014 magazine

Sisters get Together is a new group for women that has been set up as an initiative of Churches Together in Leatherhead. The first meeting will be on Saturday 26 April, and the plan is then to meet quarterly thereafter. The meetings will be held at the BFree Café, All Saints Leatherhead. Doors will open at 8.30am with the main part of the meeting starting at 9am.

Refreshments will be available and the meeting will finish promptly by 10am. Donations will be requested to cover the cost of refreshments.

The aim of the group is to provide the opportunity for the women of Leatherhead to come together, to get to know each other in order to support each other and all areas of the community. The meetings will be a mixture of informal social gatherings and more formal talks.

Please come and support us and bring a friend with you.

For further information contact: N Osborne L372313

Women's World Day Of Prayer 2014 - from the April 2014 magazine

The service, written by Christian women, is held on the first Friday of March each year, and all are welcome to attend – men, women, and children. The selected country and its people becomes the focus of the world’s prayers on the day itself.
The first service of the day takes place on the Island of Samoa as dawn breaks. The world is then circled in prayer for 36 hours and the service is celebrated in over 170 countries until the last one of this special day takes place on America Samoa.

This year the Egyptian committee wrote the service at a time of great hope, just after the Arab Spring. The theme was “Streams in the Desert” and the service revolved around water: rivers, wells, and springs.

Our speaker was Gillie Nicholls, a Lay Franciscan from Godalming who in 2007 founded a Charity in Burkina Faso, West Africa, to support suffering women. She spoke movingly of women and of the part water plays in their lives.

Our final hymn was “The day though gavest, Lord, is ended”. The third verse is particularly apposite to this annual Day of Prayer as it travels around the world from East to West:

“As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.”

Margaret Jones

King Charles Sermon, preached by John Swanson - Evensong, Sunday 2 February 2014 - from the March 2014 magazine

Haggai 2: 1-9; John 2: 18-22

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Tonight we combine two themes that at first sight have precious little in common – proof that the true spirit of the Church of England is alive and well. In the rest of the church, today is the feast of the Presentation of Christ at the Temple, and whilst this morning the readings focused on the actual presentation, the readings we’ve heard this evening shift to the Temple itself.

But Thursday, January 30, was the anniversary of the execution of King Charles and is therefore the Feast of Charles King and Martyr, and tonight we, along with other local parishes, as a result of a historical bequest, celebrate that Feast with a sermon. Charles was executed in 1649 in Whitehall.

is statue still stands looking down towards the site in Whitehall. I paid my respects there yesterday. The stone plinth is looking a bit worn, but the statute itself is in good nick. Quite remarkable, considering it actually dates from his reign. After his execution, the Parliamentarians sold it to a brazier in Covent Garden on condition he melted it down. So for the next few years, he made a nice living selling little ingots of metal to devout Royalists on the promise they were from the actual statue. Then, after the restoration of the monarchy, he dug up the intact statue from his yard and sold it back to the new King – for £1600, which I reckon was pretty good going in those days.

Evidence, depending I guess on your politics, either of laudable business acumen by royalists, or that the British establishment always finds a way to come out on top. And therein lies the problem, because what we think about Charles, someone most associated with a civil war, will depend a bit on our own politics. We celebrate Charles King and Martyr – but what exactly was he martyr to?

Those in the church who seek to keep his memory alive have no doubt what he was a martyr to – a specifically high-church form of religion. In their eyes he was probably a martyr to male-only bishops, male-only priests, and if truth were told probably the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, even though Charles was executed in .. er .. 1649.

And it’s true that Charles was high-church himself, and if he hadn’t tried to impose bishops on the Presbyterian Scots he wouldn’t have had a war with them so, along with other reasons, he wouldn’t have run out of money so he wouldn’t have had to recall parliament which eventually triggered his downfall.

But you’re a martyr to the things you will die for rather than give up. And for Charles, that wasn’t just or even primarily bishops, it was the Divine Right of Kings. He had been given a sacred trust to rule his people – as he said at his trial “I have a task committed to me by God, I will not betray it”. And it wasn’t an arrogant, dictatorial thing either, he really wanted the best for his people, their liberty and peace and prosperity, but he believed that the only way to get the best for them was to allow God’s appointed ruler to rule for their benefit.

And who’s to say he was wrong? St Paul speaks quite favourably of the rulers God has put in place for our benefit. Charles had a belief in something fundamentally quite positive, he just got so obsessed with it that he took it to a distorted extreme – no role at all for the people in their own destiny – and got himself executed for it.

And that – latching on to something that is good in itself but ending up getting it wrong – is also pretty much what the Jews did with the Temple. All those years wandering in the desert, they carried the Lord with them in the Ark of the Covenant, and because they were a wandering people, they camped each night in a different place, and had to erect a tent – a tabernacle – for the Lord. They yearned for security and stability, they yearned for the promised land of their own, and one emblem of that security would be that they could build a permanent home for their God.

And so, when they did settle in the land, Solomon eventually built the first Temple as somewhere worthy of their God to dwell and to be worshipped – and somewhere permanent. When they went into exile, an emblem of that was the destruction of the Temple, and when they came back from exile, the sign of that was building the second Temple. Then much later Herod built the second second Temple and this was the unsurpassed splendours of the building of Jesus’s time.

But somewhere along the way, the temple as a means to enable the worship of God had got supplanted by the Temple as an end in itself – Jesus didn’t object to the noble ideal of the temple as the place where God dwelt and could be met by his people, he objected to the way the very glories of the building and the industry around it had defeated its objectives.

So Charles became so wrapped up in his right to rule that he lost sight of what it was the King was there for, and the determination to have a Temple worthy of God came to distort the actual worship of God. And sadly we don’t have to look very far today to find other examples of our ability to latch on to a laudable idea then become so obsessed we lose the real purpose.

I courted mild controversy earlier by touching on the politics of monarchy, so, in for a penny in for a pound, now let me court real controversy by observing that the people of Israel today still yearn for the elusive security of a land of their own, and it’s hard to look at the Holy Land today, with the settlements, and the wall, and Gaza and the missiles, without at least wondering if that obsession with security is leading them further away from what God intended when He promised them the land in the first place.

Or come closer to home. We have the indescribable privilege of worshipping in this beautiful building. We rightly want it to be the most perfect building for worship we can make it – but when people ask questions and debates start about enabling the worship of today and tomorrow, don’t you sometimes wonder if our love for the inheritance of this building has led us to want a worshipping community that fits the building, not a building that fits the worshipping community?

But lest you think that’s one sided, remember those Jews wandering in the wilderness, aspiring to a future perfect Temple, a building fit for purpose – it was when they got everything just as they wanted it that they started relying on what they’d achieved not on God, and they were never as close to God as when they were still travelling, still aspiring. The building as it is now – the building as we want it to be – they will both lead us stray if we lose sight of what it’s there for. Just like Charles and his sense of calling as King. And just like each of us no doubt with those things we unwittingly allow to become our obsessions.

So what’s the solution to this universal human tendency to turn a good idea into a distorted end in itself?

It’s there in our Gospel reading. Tear down this Temple and I will build it up in three days. The temple at the heart of our worship isn’t a building, it’s a man, the man Jesus who becomes the Temple himself, and we did tear it down, and he did build it again in three days, and he’ll keep on doing so no matter how often we humans get things wrong. Keep our focus ruthlessly on that Man, and the Divine Right of Kings, and buildings whether on Temple Mount in Jerusalem or here in Leatherhead will all sort themselves out.

On Charles’ execution day, the Bishop of London, Juxon, said to him “There is but one stage more which though turbulent and troublesome, yet is a very short one; it will carry you from Earth to Heaven.” After that rather euphemistically described “troublesome” step, when Charles duly arrived at the gates of heaven, do you think St Peter said to him, “now, let’s have a chat about whether the Scots really did need to have bishops?” I don’t think so.

Earlier on his execution day, Charles himself said “this is my second marriage day, for before night I hope to be espoused to my blessed Jesus.” Faced with that simple love for Jesus, whatever else he got wrong, he’ll have been welcomed straight into that paradise. And I don’t expect St Peter will say to us, “So where did you stand on the pews versus chairs debate?”

Earthly temples will indeed lead us astray and be torn down, but if we fix our love on the one Temple that was torn down then built again in three days outside the city wall of Jerusalem, then we, when we arrive in heaven, like Charles (though hopefully not after such a “troublesome and turbulent” way of getting there) can be sure of our welcome – “this is my second marriage day, for before night I hope to be espoused to my blessed Jesus.”

In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Would you like a say in the selection of the next Bishop of Guildford? - from the February 2014 magazine

Following the retirement of the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill, in November the search has begun for a new bishop to lead the diocese.

Six diocesan representatives have been elected to sit on the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) which will meet twice this summer to discuss and propose potential candidates for the role.

As part of its deliberations the CNC - also made up of the two Archbishops and six members of General Synod - will consider views from the diocese.

If you have a candidate in mind or a view you would like to express you are invited to write to these diocesan representatives whose addresses can be found via the link below. Please note they will not be able to enter into correspondence with you.

Members of the public are also invited to take part in a public meeting on Wednesday 12 March at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, at 7pm where everyone is welcome to express their thoughts on the needs of the diocese. The meeting will be attended by the Archbishops' and the Prime Minister's appointment secretaries as part of a two-day fact-finding visit to the diocese.

Their views on the requirements of the diocese and on the desired profile of the new bishop will also feed into the Crown Nominations Commission which will meet in June and July. Interviews will be held in July after which two names are typically nominated to the Prime Minister, one of whom will be a preferred candidate.

The Prime Minister invites the candidate to accept the nomination and then advises The Queen, who formally nominates the successful candidate to the See. An announcement is expected early in 2015.

For more information, contact details of diocesan representatives, or to view the diocese's Statement of Needs drawn up by the diocese's Vacancy in See Committee to provide a description of the diocese and set out a desired profile for the new bishop, visit:

Pope Encourages Breastfeeding in Sistine Chapel - from the February 2014 magazine

'Pope Francis encouraged mothers to breastfeed in the Sistine chapel on Sunday 12 January, before baptizing the baby of a couple married in a civil service (something not previously done). The pope baptized 32 babies in the sacred Catholic chapel, telling mothers they should not be embarrassed to feed their hungry children there.

Unlike his predecessors, who usually delivered long homilies at the yearly baptism event, the Pope offered a brief one of 300 words, centred on the children. "Today the choir will sing, but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise." He continued in a relaxed manner addressing parents, "Some will cry because they are not comfortable, or because they are hungry. If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here."

His words were delivered in the same room as the one in which he was elected on March 13th last year as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years. Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel are some of the world's most celebrated works of art. The ceiling depicts the creation of man and the altar wall shows a severe God at the Last Judgement. The Pope told mothers to not feel intimidated by the surrounding, echoing an interview he gave last month in which he said mothers should never feel uncomfortable breastfeeding during his services and ceremonies.'

This was sent to me by one of the young mothers in our congregation and I thought it should be shared more widely. It first appeared as a blog post on the website

It reminded me of a conversation I had shortly before my ordination as deacon at Guildford Cathedral with the Bishop's wife, Hilary Hill. Hilary told me emphatically that Christine should feel comfortable breastfeeding in the cathedral and if anybody gave her any trouble or dirty looks she should be confident that the Bishop's wife had told her it was fine, and if anybody had any problems they should come and speak to her!

Breastfeeding is accepted and welcomed in the Sistine chapel, Guildford Cathedral and indeed in our own parish church.

Kuhan Satkunanayagam

“Guildford Cathedral is at serious risk of closure" - from the January 2014 magazine

These slightly shocking words appeared accompanying the programme of a John Rutter Christmas music concert on Saturday. As I watched the cathedral fill up with eager and anticipating concert goers and throughout the beautiful music, I found myself reflecting on this worrying statement and trying not to imagine how it would be if the cathedral really did close down. How would it impact on the diocese both in a religious and non-religious way? How much would most people care? Could it ever be too late to save? How would it be if the golden angel ceased to look down over the city and the A3? Who WOULD care? Does the Leatherhead congregation care? All these questions interrupted my concentration on the joyful music.

On leaving, I couldn't help noticing that most of the leaflets had been left on the seats as the happy, chattering crowds dispersed leaving yet another unrewarding chore for the busy stewards to clear away!

Funds are urgently needed for very necessary work particularly to replace the blue asbestos used in construction of the ceiling vaults, which could pose a danger to the public, plus many other things such as lighting, sound, wheelchair access etc. Unlike older cathedrals, Guildford has no endowments.

Our own church is in need of funds. We care, but how much can we do? Is this a very modern problem? Have past generations been more grateful to God and were we a more Christian nation then than we are today? Do our foundations reflect both our physical and spiritual state? Why is the Christian church shrinking, is it anything to do with us, are we complacent?

Perhaps in the New Year we should resolve to speak more openly about our faith and pray that we may be encouragers to those with no faith and to witness to what God has done in our lives, giving Him the glory.
Dee Lawrence

As we approach 2014 Bishop Ian shares his thoughts on leading the diocese during the vacancy and offers a prayer to be said during this time

I am very much aware that I have the immense privilege of leading the diocese over this period of vacancy with its considerable responsibilities. Vacancies are not about marking time, but continuing to pray and see where God is leading us, as we seek to do God’s will and live out our life together in a rich diversity across the diocese. So may I ask your prayers not only for myself but also for my colleagues on the Senior Staff, remembering especially Paul Bryer, as he begins his ministry as Archdeacon of Dorking. Remember also those behind the scenes, the PAs and Secretaries and Chaplains, who work so hard to support us.

The Crown Nomination Commission meets in June and July in 2014 to appoint a new Bishop of Guildford (they have to appoint seven other diocesan bishops before they get to us!). So all things being equal I would expect for our new Bishop to be in post early in 2015. Pray for the CNC and for our six representatives from the diocese who will serve on it.

Here is a prayer that I would ask every parish to use during this period of vacancy:

Heavenly Father,
Look with your mercy and favour upon your faithful people here in the diocese of Guildford. Bless and guide those responsible for the appointment of our new Bishop, someone of deep faith, soaked in the Scriptures and with a love for your people. We ask this in the knowledge that you have oversight of us all, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bishop of Dorking and Commissary during the Vacancy-in-See

New Future Update - from the January 2014 magazine

Belfry Notes - from the January 2014 magazine

Church Matters for January 2014 - from the January 2014 magazine

Wanted: Sales & Publications Secretary - from the January 2014 magazine

The Leatherhead & District Local History Society is urgently looking for a Sales & Publications Secretary to promote the Society’s own publications and other local books. Would suit a retired person with buying, selling, and bookkeeping knowledge, together with computer skills in Word and Excel, who is looking for a new challenge.

For further information contact Leatherhead & District Local History Society, Leatherhead Museum, Hampton Cottage, 64 Church Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 8DP; telephone 01372 386348 or e-mail